Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Promised Tutorial

Shabby Cottage Magnet Frame Tutorial

To start here is a list of the supplies you’ll need.  If you’re a compulsive crafter like me you’ll probably have these mostly on had.

1. Primer (spray or paint on)
2. Spray Adhesive
3. Acrylic Finish  (I ADORE this spray modge podge.  The finish is so smooth!)
4. Various Acrylic Paints and brush
5. Fabric (the amount needed will depend on the size of your frame)
6. Any frame that is paintable will do.
7. Metal sheet (this is available in the roofing section of  HomeDepot or any hardware section.  It is sometimes called flashing.  THIS IS IMPORTANT!! for some reason magnets will not stick to all of the metal sheets they offer.  BRING A MAGNET WITH YOU so you can make sure what you buy will work)
8.  Scrap Cardboard
9.  Any type of heavy paper.  It can be fancy or plain.
10.  Hot glue gun
11. White glue
12.  magnets
13. various buttons, flowers, jewels
14. epoxy glue
The only tools you’ll need are some tin snips and sharp xacto knife or sharp scissors.  You might need pliers if you are taking the frame apart and there are staples.  You’ll also need some heavy gloves for when you are cutting the metal. 

First things first, clean your frame up.  Take out all the metal staples, if any were used to hold the old picture in.  Sand it if needed to smooth out the finish, break up old paint, etc.  If you get a good primer you shouldn’t need to completely remove the old paint and finish.

Lay out your metal and trace the inside of the frame on the metal.  Trace underneath the lip of the frame so the metal piece will sit on the ledge in the frame, not fall through the opening.    Put on some heavy gloves and cut out the metal.  When you are finished test the fit.  Make sure it fits before you move onto the other step.  Cut a piece of scrap cardboard this same size.  Set aside to use later.

Now you can get your primer out.  Prime the frame as well as the metal piece.  I personally like spray primer and since it isn’t the final finish it gets the job done quickly.  Allow the primer to dry and, depending on the darkness of the frame, add a second coat.  I like to have the frame totally white before I start painting a bright color because the color is more vibrant. 

I prime the piece of metal because I am using a light colored fabric.  If I don’t prime the metal it will darken the fabric.   If you are using a darker fabric you may not need to prime it, but check just in case.

 Choose a color that coordinates with your fabric and paint away.   I like to do two coats to make it really pop!  Let dry between coats.

When the frame is totally dry (give it all day or overnight at least) seal it with the acrylic sealer.  You can paint on modge podge or use the spray kind.  I am in love this spray kind because it gives such a smooth finish.  I put on two coats of this also, allowing the coats to dry in-between.  I do two light coats to avoid any runs or drips.  

Make sure your fabric does not have any wrinkles in it.   Take your metal piece and spray the spray adhesive thoroughly over the surface.   Take your fabric and make sure it is facing the right direction (not sideways or off centered).   Loosely fold your fabric in half and, starting in the middle, set it down on the metal piece and lay outward in both directions.  Make sure you don’t stretch the material and working out any bubbles as you go.    Once the fabric is placed on the metal piece rub gently so it is attached thoroughly.  

Trim the fabric one quarter of an inch from the edge of the metal.  

Place the metal piece with the fabric in the frame.  You might have to trim the fabric to make sure the glue is holding the metal against the frame. 

Using the hot glue gun, place a large bead of glue on the opposite sides (top, bottom, left, right).  Once it is set, complete gluing around the edges.

Next, take your scrap cardboard piece that you cut out to fit into the back and place it in against the back side of the metal.  

Spread white glue around the back edge of the frame opening and set it on the heavy paper.  Allow to dry for a few minutes  and then trim carefully with a very sharp xacto knife.  

You can buy some magnets that match or you can make your own with some magnets (at any hobby store), epoxy and cute little buttons, flowers, jewels or anything you want.  

And there you go.  You can make big ones, little ones, and a set of a few to go together.  Just use your imagination and make it your own!

Oh!   and instead of adding fabric, you can add chalkboard paint and have a little chalkboard, too!

So there you go.  I hope you are inspired to make one for your own room, bathroom, kitchen or office.  If I missed anything just point it out and I'll fix it or answer your questions.


  1. Cute tutorial! Let me know if you would be interested in guest posting on Dandy Giveaway! :)

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing!